By Jason Wojciechowski on June 23, 2008 at 5:59 PM
At Foxsports, Charley Rosen says some dumb things and some smart things and some things I can't really evaluate.
While Doc Rivers did a superb job, he was way off-base in deriding Phil Jackson for "whining" about the refs after the lopsided 38-10 foul situation in Game 2. Since he's been there before, Jackson knew that the public airing of his grievance would work to his team's benefit -- and it did. In fact, it always does. In other words, loudly complaining about being short-changed by the refs in a playoff series is as much a part of a coach's job description as formulating a game plan. Besides which, Jackson's protestations were entirely justified.
This paragraph is slightly incomplete, since Doc, as I noted before, did enough complaining himself during the series to get T'd up multiple times. Phil made some bold statements after the 38-10 game, and that's what Doc wants to focus the attention on, but Doc was, I think, the more visible whiner in this series.
And thank you, Charley Rosen, for acknowledging that Phil was justified in his complaints.
With all due respect, the only plausible reason for Lamar Odom's lack of on-court awareness is that he suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder.
In any case, Odom is imminently dispensable and must be dealt for someone like Ron Artest, Udonis Haslem or Shane Battier.
Dr. Rosen, folks! No, in any case, it's really hard for me to believe that these are the three best guys Rosen could come up with in a trade for Odom. Artest, maybe. I talked about him before. Haslem? My god -- he's a classic skill-less power forward, and I don't really see why that's valuable when the hole the Lakers need to fill at this point is at small forward. Battier? Nice defensive player, will knock down a shot once in a while, good glue guy, etc. Worth the massive trading chip named Lamar Odom? Not even close. L.A. can do a lot better if they decide to trade Odom.
All of the media reports that Jackson was thoroughly out-coached by Rivers are absurd. Rivers simply had the far superior team and had many more options (particularly on offense) at his disposal.
I don't think that's true. I think the Lakers options on offense got outplayed in this particular series, but I don't think the Celtics offensive player are better. Sam Cassell, Leon Powe, Rajon Rondo, Kendrick Perkins, PJ Brown, etc. are nice players, useful in their own way, but not a one of them has the offensive capabilities of Jordan Farmar, Sasha Vujacic, Vlad Radmanovic, or Derek Fisher. No, this was a "defense vs. offense" series, just like it was billed to be.
In fact, the Lakers' shooters (Sasha Vujacic, Vladamir Radmanovic and Derek Fisher) all got plenty of good-enough looks but simply failed to covert them.
Exactly! These Laker players are better offensively than the Celtics equivalents, but didn't shoot well when they had open looks in this series. Rosen seems to be saying exactly that in this sentence, contradicting the sentence that came just before it.
Also, the failure of the Lakers' screen/roll defense was primarily due to the lack of awareness of the baseline rotators, not because the defensive game plan provided the screenee with no immediate help.
Interesting. Can anyone remember a time when the Lakers' screen-and-roll defense was good? Wasn't this supposed to be the weakness of the Shaq-Kobe Lakers as well, that a team like San Antonio could exploit? People always blamed Shaq for that, for refusing to come out on the ball-handler, but maybe it's just that Phil doesn't coach S-A-R defense well enough to actually pound the scheme into the heads of his players.
Jackson only made two minor mistakes: Not giving Ira Newble enough pressure-time daylight so as to be prepared to take a turn guarding Paul Pierce; and not reacting quickly enough when the Celtics played small-ball.
The second thing I don't really have any insight on, but the first strikes me as bizarre. The noise going around is that Newble had no idea what he was doing in the triangle, and thus was not just useless but actually a problem on offense. I'm not sure that ten minutes per game for the 11th guy on the bench was really going to win the series for the Lakers anyway. I guess that's why Rosen refers to this as a "minor" mistake.
Dick Bavetta, Bob Delaney and Ken Mauer are all front-runners, homers, arrogant, grudge-holders and vastly overrated. As such, they should be prevented from ever working both conference finals and championship series forever more.
Interesting, especially given the media love-fest for Dick Bavetta (colorful, ancient) and Bob Delaney (he was undercover in the mob!).
However, despite his repeated chest-thumpings, it's one thing to play well in a 39-point blowout and quite another to succeed in the waning moments of a game that's still up for grabs. Until he does the job in the clutch, Garnett is still not a franchise player.
Thank you! Thank you, Charley Rosen! This is exactly right. Garnett celebrated throwing Lamar Odom on the floor in a blowout, celebrated scoring 26 points in a 39-point win, celebrated ... coming up small in the previous five games, missing wide-open jumpers, getting into foul trouble, having to get bailed out by Ray Allen and Paul Pierce and Leon Powe. Rosen says it right, despite everyone's claims that "Garnett has now proven himself".